Water Numbers in Big Spring Going Down, Hotline Staying Busy

by Anayeli Ruiz 
NewsWest 9
BIG SPRING - The City of Big Spring has the strictest water restrictions in the Basin with only one day of watering a week. They recently set up a water hotline so neighbors could turn in violators and it's been ringing off the hook. NewsWest 9 traveled to Big Spring to find out how many tickets have been handed out and how the Municipal Judge is handling it.
"Nobody ever thought we'd get this far without rain and if we are going to have a contingency plan, then you're going to have someone actually enforcing the plan. That's where we are, just at the very beginning," Big Spring Municipal Judge, Timothy Green, said. 
Green says he deals with all kinds of cases but lately he has been dealing with water wasters.
"For the most part, the demeanors of the people of Big Spring have been really good. It hadn't been a big shock to anybody that there are citations or complaints that will be filed and people are handling it well so far," Green said.  
First offenders in Big Spring are not getting warnings, they are just getting fines.
"First time offenders are looking at $265. If it happens again, we're talking about maybe doubling the fire. Hopefully it doesn't happen again, we haven't gone down that road,"  Green said.  
To help catch residents that are not following the restrictions, the city added a water hotline and the hotline has been ringing off the hook.
"People are actually using the hotline and it's not bad. We are not using that hotline as that's the evidence that you are in violation. Someone is still going to go out there and check some things out," Green said.
Even Code Enforcement has been changing their ways to catch these wasters.
"We are out all hours of the night. I have split up our shifts and we're going at different times. The police department of course they are out 24/7. They are watching for it as well and we are coordinating with the police department and letting them know what we see and they tell us what they have seen," Chad Averette with the City of Big Spring Code Enforcement Office, said.  

Bottom line, they want people to comply. So far, one day watering seems to be getting the numbers down.
"During the week, the numbers seem to be very low. We do see an increase on Saturdays when everyone can water," Averette said.   
Residents can only water on Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and businesses can water on Tuesdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
If you need to report someone watering outside the times. you can call (432) 264-2548.